Fight Club: Pro’s potentially difficult second show at their new venue proved to be a noteworthy one, with an impromptu main event and a finish that opened a lot of new doors!
Kyle Fletcher vs. Mark Davis
Kyle looks a little familiar to those who’ve watched ATTACK!… maybe a little Welsh? Mark Davis is another of the current crop of Antipodeans over here right now, and so far has a decent showing for WCPW under his belt in terms of high-profile appearances.
Fletcher screamed out of the blocks, but his forearms were no match for the bigger Davis, whose shots easily knocked down Kyle into the corner. A bicycle kick takes Davis to the outside for a flying body press that just about connected… the follow-up tope from Davis, on the other hand, met its mark. Back in the ring, Fletcher comes close with a springboard crossbody, only to get dumped with a release German suplex as the two Aussies went move-for-move. A ducked PK from Fletcher sees him manage to retaliate with a Michinoku driver for a near-fall, before laying it in with forearms and superkicks. Davis cuts him off with a sit-out powerbomb, as their sprint continued with running kicks into the corner followed by a double stomp from Kyle for another two-count.
Some back and forth reversals give way to a back suplex from Fletcher for another two-count, as the pair teed off on each other with bicycle kicks until one was caught and flipped over into a facebuster by Davis. Another sit-out powerbomb follows, but Fletcher keeps kicking out, and again from an inverted Angle Slam, before he countered a pop-up into a Destroyer of all things!
Fletcher looked shocked to have taken the big man down, and the “Aussie Arrow” continued with a dropkick before another pop-up was met with a death valley driver as Davis finished off Kyle with an Awful Waffle for the win. A really good opening match sprint – plenty of action, and a good way to get the show rolling. Hopefully both these guys will be back in a role where they get a story behind them rather than the self-made “two Aussies wrestling”… ***½
Wolfgang & BT Gunn vs. Extra Talented (Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks) vs. Hunter Brothers (Jim Hunter & Lee Hunter)
The slow Celtic invasion continues in Fight Club Pro, with BT Gunn being the latest to make the trip down to Wolverhampton. Extra Talented confuse BT with Billy Gunn after saying that they set the road for the UK Championship Tournament… as alternates for the Cruiserweight Classic.
We start with Lee and BT trading shoulder tackles, before a dropkick sent Gunn into the Hunters corner, with the brothers exchanging frequent tags to wear down the Scotsman… who looks weird since he shaved the straggly bits off his mohawk. Ricky Starks gets tagged in by BT, before Solow came in and received the rather muted reaction you’d expect from a pair who’ve only just started to make a name for themselves in the States.
The neckbreaker/Dominator combino gets a near-fall on Jim Hunter, who then brought in Wolfgang… whose attempt at a superplex on Starks was blocked as he slipped out and powerbombed the big Scotsman. In came the Hunters to dump Solow with their sunset flip backcracker, before the lads from Tipton worked together as Lee hit a tope con hilo into the pile on the outside.
Back inside, Jim’s springboard is countered by the knees of Wolfgang, who then dispatched Lee… allowing the American duo to come back and hit a superkick-assisted Angel’s Wings to Gunn for a near-fall. A second one to the Hunters is avoided, as they spike Starks with a DDT instead, before superkicking a leaping Solow for good measure, as a double-team double stomp to Solow got the win. This was a solid enough match, without all of the tropes of triple threats, but my word, that double-team double stomp looked nasty! ***
Matt Richards introduced Dan Moloney to the ring ahead of the next match. You can probably guess what greeted him… which meant that Matt had to do his promo for him, which included an open challenge as Moloney (via Richards) claimed to be the “hardest motherfucker in the room”. Hmm…
Dan Moloney vs. Clint Margera
That challenge was opened by Clint Margera, some two weeks after his Tournament of Death experience, which gave him a valid reason to challenge Dan’s earlier claim, and make this a no-DQ outing.
Of course, that stipulation put the ball firmly in Clint’s court, as he hung up Moloney on the top rope before sending him outside for a tope, They headed into the aisle for some brawling, which featured Moloney throwing him into the crowd as the mobile camera received what was becoming their monthly workout.
Unfortunately, having only one man with a mobile camera meant we got a long shot of an empty ring as he repositioned himself, so this was one of those “what the hell are they doing?” kind of matches for a while. Eventually the camera picked them up going through the crowd and towards the bar… as we heard something happening, but couldn’t actually see it. We next see them at the back of the building, where I assume Clint had Moloney in a chair… before Dan got up and powerbombed him into the wall.
Moloney finally brings it back to the ring, with a couple of chairs in hand, but they go to hand-to-hand combat for a brief spell as Margera’s forearm led him to dropping Dan with a Michinoku driver for a near-fall. Dan comes back with an Exploder, but that doesn’t help him avoid having a chair thrown at his face.
Margera sets up those two chairs as a landing area… but of course Moloney fights off a superplex and instead dumped him through the chairs with a Samoan Facebuster for the win. This sounded like fun, but after two of these matches at the Starworks, the production crew really need to figure out what’s going on with these matches. What we saw was good, but there was a lot of dead-air, and I can’t rate what I don’t see… *
After the match, Dan gets the microphone and finally figures out how to speak. He claims he runs Fight Club: Pro… but is stopped by… Sandstorm? Out comes Martina, which just irks Moloney, especially as she bumped and grinded with Joel Allen. Dan’s answer… was to just boot Martina in the head as she danced. Yeah, that didn’t go down well, to say the least!
All of a sudden, glass shatters, and out comes Shay Purser. You what?! He’s playing Stone Cold, after becoming a man at the Hangover last month… and yes, Shay stood up for Martina… who managed to take down Dan with a tornado DDT before the pair teed off on him, ending with Dan eating a double-team stunner. Well then! Shay and Martina look to be an item, or at the very least, just “very good friends”…
Jordan Devlin vs. Mark Haskins vs. Will Ospreay vs. Omari
This was set as a three way, but just before Joel could ring the bell, it was time to get Down With the Trumpets… as Omari wanted in too! That didn’t make Jordan Devlin happy, as he threatened to leave, only for Omari to superkick him off the apron as the fast-paced match kicked off.
A leg lariat from Omari helped Ospreay DDT Haskins, only for Devlin to interfere and get met with a dropkick for his troubles. Haskins and Ospreay combined pretty well against Omari, leaving him out with a pair of dropkicks before Ospreay grabbed a long bit of elastic for his latest party piece: Haskins holding it next to Omari in the ropes, with Ospreay stretching it all the way down the aisle, before snapping it back into the rookie’s face.
Devlin tried to over whilst everyone was aghast at that foolishness, but the elastic band came into play again as Ospreay twanged it into the Irishman’s crotch. No more baby Devlins!
The Ospreay/Haskins alliance broke from there, with Haskins pulling Ospreay into a triangle choke, but Will got free and kicked Haskins to the floor… but Omari cut-off a dive and dropped Will with a back body drop before being wheelbarrowed into a stomp by Devlin. Things continued to blossom for the Irishman, who hit an Asai moonsault to Haskins, who was then thrown in… and returned quickly with a tope as we entered Randy Orton Trolling Terrority, ending with a Space Flying Tiger drop from Will, who then hit the Orton pose. Of course.
Back in the ring, Haskins cut-off Omari’s superplex so that Ospreay could hit a handspring overhead kick into the corner as this got a little bit frenetic, with Haskins catching Devlin in a Sharpshooter… letting go to evade a dive from Omari and do a piled-on armbar to him and Ospreay. More flippy goodness followed to leave all four men down, before Devlin got up and drilled Haskins with a brainbuster for a near-fall.
Omari hits back with a head-kick that left Devlin way too close to the ropes, before Ospreay looked to finish off Jordan with a Spanish Fly… but both men landed on their feet! A ripcord Spanish fly did the trick though, as did Ospreay’s triple flip moonsault, and a corkscrew spiral tap… but still Jordan kicked out!
Things picked up again as a Dragon suplex from Devlin rocked Ospreay, only for Haskins to dump Jordan onto him with a death valley driver. A Sharpshooter from Haskins follows, but Omari returns to break it up and duck a handspring overhead kick that was aimed at Haskins. Omari then caught an OsCutter attempt and turned it into the O-Zone (swinging flatliner) for the win. These are the kind of matches that, when they go well, they really go well… but when someone miscues, they look awkward. There was none of that as this was extremely fluid and fun to watch. ***½
Millie McKenzie vs. Kay Lee Ray
The Coventry-based McKenzie was making her FCP debut here, after appearing on a string of shows for the likes of Ironfist and BEW throughout the UK. They started by taking each other into the corner, but Millie didn’t quite break so cleanly, which earned her some overhand chops from Kay Lee Ray.
McKenzie’s response? A reverse ‘rana that almost won her the match so early on… Ray kicked out and rolled to the outside, where she was met with a flying ‘rana off the apron, then a tope as Millie was going mental! Back in the ring, Kay Lee avoids a wheelbarrow and just decks McKenzie with a forearm, before she shrugs off a chop… by taking off her t-shirt and demanding that the rookie try again. Millie obliges, then got a stinging receipt before ducking another chop and dropping the Scotswoman with a cutter for another near-fall.
Kay Lee takes over from there for a spell, but found her attempt at a Gory Bomb was countered with a sunset flip before Millie damn near dumped her on her head with a German suplex. Ouchie. Ray rebounds with forearms again, before falling to a wheelbarrow facebuster that forced her to kick out at two… before just punting McKenzie in the chest.
Millie comes back with a Destroyer for another near-fall, but for Kay Lee cuts her off as she went up top and brought McKenzie back down for a Gory Bomb… which didn’t work, so she switches to the Koji clutch for the submission. A fun debut by Millie, who didn’t seem out of place here… and with more outings, she can only get better. ***
So the planned main event for this show was #CCK vs. Moustache Mountain… which was like playing Snap with PROGRESS, who were doing the same match two days later. #CCK came out with their CZW tag titles, before Moustache Mountain headed out separately. Pete Dunne then came out with his WWE UK title… just because. So out comes Travis Banks, ominously with his new Fight Club: Pro title (it’s no more an imitation ECW belt), and apparently this is the new main event?!
Fight Club: Pro Championship: Chris Brookes vs. Kid Lykos vs. Trent Seven vs. Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne vs. Travis Banks (c)
So we’ve got both iterations of CCK fighting off against British Strong Style in a six-way scramble – one fall to a finish, so expect plenty of broken up pins!
Dunne seems to unite Moustache Mountain onto his side as they too-sweeted each other… and when Banks enlisted #CCK’s help, things fell in line with a rather more progressive alignment. Brookes and Seven remained in the ring as everyone else took it to the floor, with Trent dropping Brookes with a back suplex… and then following him into the corner with the overhanded cricket chop.
A second, ball-sweat-laden chop was blocked as Brookes contorted Trent into an Octopus stretch, before Lykos and Bate took over with armdrags and some World of Sport-inspired flippy goodness. Hey, it even extended to Lykos doing a cartwheel, then a backflip, as referee Joel hid away in the corner trying to avoid being called out. Eventually the backflip-off was broken up by Pete Dunne, who bit their hands as they went for a handshake, as we then switched to Dunne and Banks… an Alexandra Palace preview?
Banks quickly nailed Dunne with a Slice of Heaven as everyone else broke up the pin, and then we enter the usual multi-man fare. #CCK end up slingshotting each other into a big boot from Banks as Pete Dunne was just poking everyone in the eyes. After that, he poked the referee, before inviting Trent and Tyler into the Triple H stuff… hey, why be Peter when you can play Paul? Except really badly, as Dunne didn’t get much of a spray on…
Back in the ring, Lykos flattens Dunne with a Lo Mein Pain as everything goes really spotty, with Banks’ low-pe wiping out Moustache Mountain. Add in a tope con hilo from Brookes, and then we’re back to the usual fast-paced formula as Dunne tripped Lykos ahead of his dive.
Dunne goes airborne with an Asai moonsault off the turnbuckles, before Lykos finally threw in his tornillo… and someone farted over the microphone. Back inside, Lykos and Dunne traded running strikes in the corner ahead of an X-Plex that Lykos turned into a ‘rana for a near-fall… only for Trent to piledriver him as the parade of moves rolled on. A delayed Exploder from Tyler to Brookes… a thrust kick and diving knee from Travis… then a barrage of slaps to Peter who then forearmed away from a Slice of Heaven before giving Banks a Bitter End for a near-fall.
Much like the earlier four-way, this stuff flowed together exceedingly well, but it bloody well should considering the calibre of the six men involved! My only complaint is that with more bodies, there was precious little time for stuff to sink in, especially when we got “accidental” spots like Trent backfisting Tyler as that formed part of a LONG chain of strikes. One that looked to have ended with a lariat from Trent after he’d taken a Slice of Heaven, but it just. Kept. Going. Until Lykos left Dunne laying with the 720 DDT.
We quickly resume with Banks kicking away on Trent and Tyler, before dishing out German suplexes, topes and Coast to Coasts as he looked to have retained with a Fisherman’s driver on Lykos… but the wolf kicked out! Dunne scores with a tonne of low blows as he capitalised on the no DQ rule, eventually Roshambo’ing the referee. Travis takes a Pedigree, but of course, there’s no ref, which seems to be the cue for MK McKinnan to hit the ring and score a wild cannonball tope as he fought with Dunne to the back. Remember, MK had to vacate the title after going into a medically-enforced retirement… and after attacking Dunne back in March (when Travis beat him for the belt), you do have to wonder…
Banks and Dunne traded slaps in the middle of the ring until #CCK come in to stop it… but the “Best Boys” end up taking a bunch of superkicks, before Tyler makes Brookes give Lykos a German suplex in another of those accidental spots, before Bate dumped Brookes with another German for a near-fall. Tyler tries to give Travis one, but we get Zombie Banks who hits a clothesline before #CCK look to set up Travis for a Slice of Heaven…
But they turn on him as Brookes waffled Travis with the #CCK baking sheet! One double-team Codebreaker and back senton later, and the unthinkable happened! Chris Brookes pinned Travis Banks to become the new Fight Club: Pro champion! Cue shock and disbelief inside the Starworks Warehouse, as the obedient wolf celebrated with his master.
This was fine for a multi-man match – plenty of dives and highspots, although the usual tropes fell into play here in terms of too much going on for it to fully resonate. I’m shocked that they took the title off of Travis after three months… especially when he’d worked for so long to get there. Still, it now means we get something different: Chris Brookes as a major singles champion, whilst we see just how Travis handles disappointment. ***¾
Not going to these shows live means that I really only have one perspective on Fight Club: Pro – in that they’re dishing out really good shows, but in recent months they seem to have largely dropped the concept of storylines for the time being (unless the MK cameos are going to lead to much).
Yes, the Britwres landscape has changed a lot with the WWE UK contracts, as well as the fall-out from World of Sport disappearing from the radar, but it does seem that this latest phase of the Britwres boom, what with the same guys working in much of the same promotions, is going to slowly homogenise everything, and remove a lot of the charm from certain groups. That’s not a knock on FCP, but after a hectic spring, they really need to get back into the groove of what made FCP special. This was a solid show, with the headlines being the most memorable part – but that’s not to say this is a skippable show… unless you’re one for clearly signposted stories.